The Corvette has been around for what seems like decades… six to be precise, and this year, GM has something special planned to mark the Corvette’s 60th anniversary – a special edition 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible. A lot of times, “special editions” usually just mean a different trim, paint job, wheels or little logo. But that’s hardly the case here.
The 427 Convertible borrows hardware from the Z06 and has the same rear axle as the Z06 along with magnetic ride control. Under the hood, the 427 sports a 427-cubic-inch LS7 V8 under its hood producing 505 horsepower and 470lb-ft of torque. You know what that means, don’t you Dallas Ft Worth Chevrolet lovers? If you guessed that this is the most powerful Corvette Convertible ever produced, you are correct. The 427 Convertible blends elements of the Z06 and ZR1 models to create the fastest and most-capable convertible in Corvette’s history. Excited yet?
The 2013 model is more than just a “special edition” for Corvette’s 60th anniversary. It also marks the final year for the current ‘C6’ generation. In a press release last week, Vice President of Global Marketing and Strategy for Chevrolet, Chris Perry, said “We couldn’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate these milestones than bringing back one of the most-coveted combinations in the brand’s history – the Corvette convertible and a 427 cubic-inch engine.”
Like the Z06, the 427 Convertible is only available in a six-speed manual transmission (as it should be in my opinion) and also features several carbon-fiber components that help reduce weight, including a carbon fiber raised hood, carbon fiber Z06-style fenders and carbon fiber floor panels.
Now lets talk power-to-weight ratios. This is a calculation that measures actual performance of an engine. It’s also used as a way to compare overall performance between vehicles. The ratio is the engine’s power out divided by the weight of the vehicle. Here’s a few ratios from some of the well-known speedsters out there:
- Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet – 6.90
- Audi R8 5.2 RSI Spyder – 7.58
- Aston Martin DBS Volante Convertible – 7.82
- Ferrari California Convertible – 8.31
With the weight reduction, the 427 Convertible’s curb weight comes to 3,355 pounds (1,522 kg). Combined with its 505-horsepower LS7 engine, it gives the 427 Convertible a power-to-weight ratio of 6.64. In case you didn’t notice, that’s better than all the mentioned above.
According to Chevrolet, the combination of low mass and high output will make the 427 Convertible one of the fastest convertibles in the world, delivering estimated 0-60 performance of 3.8 seconds, quarter-mile performance of 11.8 seconds, lateral acceleration of 1.04 g and a top speed of more than 190 mph.
The 427 Convertible will makes it’s first public appearance on Jan. 21 at the Barrett Jackson collector car auction in Arizona, and is scheduled to arrive at Chevrolet dealerships early this summer. I’ll be sure to post more updates as they come, DFW Chevy fanatics.
Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association decided to spice things up last year and revised its New Car Assessment Program. The Overall Vehicle Score is the combination of frontal and side crash tests and rollover resistance testing. With the 2012 Sonic earning itself a five-star rating, Chevrolet now has a total of ten 2012 models that have earned the highest ratings possible.
The Sonic was tested under NHTSA’s revised New Car Assessment Program implemented starting with the 2011 model year the number of General Motors 2012 models with 5-star overall vehicle scores for safety. Pretty impressive, given that these new rigorous test procedures are by no means easy. For example, the NHTSA has added a new side pole test simulating a 20-mph side-impact crash into a 10-inch-diameter pole or tree at a 75-degree angle just behind the A-pillar on the driver’s side.
“We developed Sonic to exceed customer expectations of subcompacts in terms of segment-leading safety features,” said Gay Kent, GM executive director of vehicle safety. “From the largest vehicles in our lineup to the smallest, we are putting overall crash-worthiness and state-of-the-art safety technologies at the top of the list of must-haves.”
So why exactly did the Sonic ace the test? I’m willing to bet that the exceptionally strong body structure through the incorporation of a single welded side ring unit and the vehicle safety being made of more than 60 percent high-strength steel had a little something to do with it.
The 2012 Chevy Sonic was designed to help drivers avoid crashes, while protecting occupants in a crash. In addition to the tougher-than-nails structure, other standard safety features include:
- Driver and front passenger dual-stage frontal air bags, seat-mounted side pelvic/thorax air bags, knee air bags and head curtain side air bags with rollover protection that cover front and outboard rear seating rows. The Sonic also has side impact air bags in the outboard rear seating positions for a total of ten standard air bags.
- Rollover sensors, which can activate the head-curtain side air bags if sensors determine an imminent rollover. In a rollover, the air bags stay inflated longer to provide increased occupant protection.
- StabiliTrak electronic stability control helps the driver maintain control by comparing the path being steered by the driver with the actual response and, when necessary, applying the brakes or adjusting the throttle or a combination of both.
- Power-assisted front disc and rear drum brakes with ABS, full-function traction control and panic brake assist that activates when an emergency braking maneuver is detected. The system automatically develops additional brake pressure to more quickly engage ABS
- Front safety belt pretensioners to reduce forward occupant movement and load-limiting retractors to help manage forces during a collision
- OnStar, which features the Automatic Crash Response System that uses GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event that a crash is detected.
What more could we ask from the Chevy Sonic? In case you’ve missed the daredevilish stunts the Sonic’s been performing, you can check them out here. Crazy to think that this daring little car is one of the safest out there.
Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.
It’s not too often that we associate sports cars, like the Chevrolet Camaro, with safety. As of last week, this is no longer the case. The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro Coupe became the first car to score the highest possible five-star rating in every individual test of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program since the introduction of the new standards in 2011.
Last year, the NHTSA introduced new, more rigorous federal testing procedures including a new side barrier test and a new side pole test. The side pole test simulates a 20-mph side-impact crash into a 10-inch-diameter pole or tree at a 75-degree angle just behind the A-pillar on the driver’s side.
Camaro Chief Engineer, Al Oppenheiser, said that the Camaro has always been about performance including safety performance. He continued to say, “We always strive for five-star ratings, and the fact that we achieved them under more rigorous requirements is a great accomplishment.”
After watching the videos of the 2012 Camaro Coupe’s NHTSA testing, I’m inclined to agree with Oppenheiser. The 2012 Camaro’s safety specification includes six airbags, the StabiliTrak electronic stability control system and seat belt pretensioners as standard. Now one of the most popular, best-looking sports car out there is also one of the safest. Hats off to General Motors.
If you’ve been holding off on getting a Camaro for awhile due to safety issues, you no longer have an excuse. Head down to Classic Chevrolet and hop into one. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. In the meantime, check out the official NHTSA videos below and see just how safe this beast is for yourself.
Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing
Hey DFW Camaro lovers, I have some exciting news. Earlier today, Chevrolet announced that its most-powerful convertible ever, the 2013 Camaro ZL1, will debut at the LA Auto show next month. According to a press release issued by General Motors, this Camaro will deliver more performance and technology than many exotic cars and ultra-luxury convertibles. I told you I had exciting news!
The ZL1 will be powered by a 580-horsepower LSA 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine, so I’m sure Camaro Chief Engineer, Al Oppenheiser, wasn’t kidding when he said, “This is a car that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face every time you drop the top – or hit the gas.”
The convertible will share all its characteristics and engine parts with the 2012 ZL1 coupe model which recently lapped the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife course in 7:41.27 minutes. The only changes we’ll see are a tower brace under the hood, a transmission reinforcement brace, an underbody tunnel brace and a set of X and V braces under the body. All of these are aimed at stiffening the chassis to better handle and apply all the power the LSA generates. Check out this video of the 2012 Camaro ZL1 at Nordschleife.
Are you getting excited yet? The ZL1 convertible will most likely be available for purchase in the late months of 2012. Until then, I’ll be sure to keep you posted on the latest updates!
We’ve all heard of the dangers of texting while driving time and time again, but there are still those who continue to do it. Hopefully, my fellow Chevy DFW drivers out there have taken this matter seriously. If not, time to listen up. A new study coming to us from the Aggies shows these dangers are far worse than most experts believe.
Earlier this week, the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), an agency of the Texas A&M University System, released a report revealing that reading or sending a text message while driving doubles a driver’s reaction time. The study consisted of 42 drivers between the ages of 16 and 54.
First, participants were asked to drive a course with and without texting, and their reaction times to a periodic flashing light were recorded. Without texting, reaction times fell between one and two seconds. With texting, the reaction times doubled to three and four seconds. Furthermore, drivers were more than 11 times likely to miss the light all together when texting.
As the drivers’ reaction times were being recorded, their ability to maintain proper lane position and speed was also being measured. The results showed that drivers were less able to:
- safely maintain their position in the driving lane when they were texting. Plus, their swerving was worse in the open sections of the course.
- maintain a constant speed while texting, tending to slow down in an effort to reduce the demand of the multiple tasks. By slowing down, a driver gains more time to correct for driving errors (such as the tendency to swerve while texting). Speed variance was also greater for texting drivers than for non-texting drivers.
Christine Yager, an associate transportation researcher in TTI’s Center for Transportation Safety who managed the study said, “Most research on texting and driving has been limited to driving simulators. This study involved participants driving an actual vehicle. So one of the more important things we know now that we didn’t know before is that response times are even slower than we previously thought.”
Research doesn’t lie, friends. It’s a fact that texting while driving slows reaction time. So why risk you an accident in your new Chevy to send or read a measly little text message? Surely your life is worth than that.
Even if you’re not a fan of The Fast and The Furious movie franchise, you’ve got to at least check out the fifth movie, Fast Five, for the cars alone. The list is long and ranges from 1960s classics to 2011 models. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to know that my favorite on the list is the 1965 Chevy Corvette Grand Sport. You could probably say I’m a little biased, but even Dennis McCarthy, one of the most well-known picture car coordinators in the business, calls it the “Hero Car”. And with good reason.
Built by Mongoose Motorsports, this replica of a Grand Sport features the Chevrolet 502 big block backed by a Borg Warner Super T-10 four-speed transmission and rides on CS Corvette suspension. Here’s a breakdown of the car’s role in the movie from Dennis McCarthy himself.
According to McCarthy, all of the Fast Five vehicles had a pretty rough life on set. The only ones still drivable were the Hero and two stunt cars. If you haven’t seen the movie yet and you’re a car lover like me, I definitely recommend you check it out. Here’s a scene from the movie featuring the Corvette. Enjoy!
There’s nothing worse than the feeling you get when you’re being pulled over. Whether or not you’ve broken a traffic law or may have a headlight out you’re unaware of, it can be stressful seeing those red and blues flashing behind you. If you know how to handle the situation, it’ll be easier for you to remain calm and possibly up your chances of receiving a ticket.
First and foremost when you see the police’s lights behind you, signal and pull over to the side of the road. Make sure you pull as far over to the right as possible without putting your entire vehicle in the grass. Be sure you don’t do this too quickly though, you don’t want the officer to have to slam on his brakes.
Once you’ve pulled over, go ahead and turn off the car. Roll your window down and place your hands on the wheel. If it’s night time, turn on one of the interior lights. A lot of times people will have their license and registration ready for the officer by the time he gets there. However, I would recommend waiting until he asks you for it. That way, it doesn’t look like you are rummaging about in the vehicle.
When the officer comes to your window, don’t speak first. I’m sure you’ve all seen people in movies saw “What seems to be the problem, officer?” This can come off sarcastic or cocky regardless of how you meant it. Answer all of the officer’s questions with “yes, sir” or “yes, mam”. This is common courtesy in any situation.
I’ve heard that one of the first things officers learn is to make up their minds on whether or not to give a ticket before leaving their vehicle. However, you have nothing to lose by being extremely polite and cooperative. You never know, you may be let off with a warning for your little four mph over offense in your new Chevy.
Electric cars are still pretty new to the states and so it’s only natural that people have questions and may be confused. The new, two-part 2012 Chevy Volt ad addresses this very issue in a brilliant way. Check out part one.
What makes the Chevy Volt so unique is it’s ability to switch between running on electricity and gasoline. In fact, it’s the first automobile with this ability. Not only does the Volt have an on-board electric source allowing you to drive gas-free, it also has an onboard gas generator that produces electricity giving you an additional 375 miles on a full tank of gas!
With all of these options comes choices. Do I drive on electric, gas or both? The answer is simple, let the Volt decide for you! That’s right, the car is actually programmed to give a choice of the three driving modes for the most efficient trip. You can also download an app that will give you real-time data on your battery level!
I’m telling you guys, the Volt brings an entire new meaning to term hybrid. Here’s the second part of Chevy’s gas station commercials. Enjoy!
For the past few years, fuel economy has been a smoking hot topic in the auto industry. Automakers have constantly tried to outdo each other in mpg numbers and we’ve definitely started to see a stronger presence of hybrids and electric cars. So it’s only fitting that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would make one of the biggest changes to fuel economy labels since they were created back in the seventies.
Not only will you now find an estimate of how much you will spend or save on fuel for the next five years (4), you’ll also get an estimate of how much it will cost you to drive 100 miles (5). But wait! There’s still more. You can compare vehicles by how much it will cost you in gasoline annually (6) and how other vehicles in it’s class measure up (3).
One of my favorite new editions though is the SmartPhone integration. Each label has a unique QR Code® (quick response) that you can scan into your phone. Of course, you’ll have to download the free app first, but after that you’ll be able to make even more comparisons and do personal calculations. See what else you can do in the video below.
If fuel economy weighs heavy on your buying decision list, then I’d definitely recommend downloaded this app. After all, most of you are going to be driving that new Chevy in DFW for quite some time and it’s cool to see the potential savings before they even happen.
Hey Chevy drivers, did you know that our beloved DFW metroplex was listed as Forbe’s fifth worst city for traffic congestion in 2010? According to Forbes, the DFW has 43 hours of weekly congestion. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), there are five billion hours of traffic congestion per year in America and last year, Americans drove the third highest numbers of miles ever recorded — three trillion!
The US DOT divides traffic into two types — volume or recurring traffic and non-recurring traffic. Volume traffic is exactly what is sounds like… too many people on the road. This happens when there are too many people trying to get to the same place and the highways simply cannot handle it. I’m sure you’re all aware of the new construction going on with 635. That has been the most hated highway in Dallas for quite some time and they city has finally decided that it’s time to expand. Will it help? We shall see.
The second type of traffic, non-recurring, is the result of a car accident, disabled vehicle, inclement weather, special events or temporary construction. My new favorite example of this type of traffic is the 18-wheeler that overturned last week carrying frozen chickens. Several highways were backed up and even closed for hours.
Though the US Department of Transportation only divides traffic into two categories, I believe there is a third in this metroplex that I like to call
“DFW Traffic”. It is caused by the following two things:
Bottlenecking – When ever a highway shrinks down to a smaller amount of lanes and people do not know how to correctly merge using the zipper effect (a perfect example of this is on President George Bush Turnpike at Beltline). If you unfamiliar with the Zipper Effect, it’s basically cars taking turns. One car from the right lane goes, then one from the left lane, one from the right, one from the left, forming a single-file line. People do not realize how much time this would save if everyone would do it correctly. Another issue surrounding bottlenecking, is people merging too quickly. There’s always that one man or woman who has to get over way before the lane actually ends. This causes traffic and is unnecessary.
Rubbernecking –When people will slow down to unnecessary speeds to gawk at a traffic accident (most of the time on the other side of the highway). Now, I’m not saying it’s a terrible idea to slow down by maybe five mph. But 25 mph? That’s going to cause traffic.
There are many of you who know exactly what I’m talking about, and I’m sure there are some of you who are probably realizing that you do one or both of the above mentioned things. Not to worry, now that you’re aware that theses two things can really affect the flow of traffic, you may change up your driving habits a bit the next time you and your Chevy are stuck in traffic on highway 35, 635 or I20.